Scientists Working on Pig/Human Hybrid Embryos

Monday, 06 June 2016 - 6:21PM
Genetic Engineering
Monday, 06 June 2016 - 6:21PM
Scientists Working on Pig/Human Hybrid Embryos
Scientists in the U.S. have injected human stem cells into pig embryos in an attempt to see if working human organs are able to be grown inside the animals - or to create a race of pig men they will then use to take over the world. Probably the former.

The embryos, dubbed Chimeras after the lion/goat/snake hybrid of Greek mythology, have been created at the University of California Davis, where they will be allowed to grow inside a mother pig for 28 days before being terminated in order to have their tissues inspected. The way that the Chimeras are created sounds like something out of Jurassic Park. Scientists delete part of the pig's DNA that would allow them to grow a certain organ, and fill in the gap with human stem cells. In theory, this would result in a pig that is completely normal other than the fact that one of its organs is compatible with humans.

Obviously, the research is ethically loaded about whether or not it's appropriate to create animals to serve as human organ farms. Another concern, floated by the National Institutes of Health when they imposed a moratorium on Chimera research last year, is that human DNA could make its way to the pig's brain, giving it human-like thoughts (I did not make this up).

We'll have to see where this goes, but hopefully a race of superior pig men doesn't conquer us anytime soon.



Via: BBC News.
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Genetic Engineering

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